Mets Making the Dream Work
Megill's poise, Drury and Conforto's late heroics lengthen Meties' lead in the East
Back in the groove. We love to see it.
The Mets beat Atlanta on Wednesday night at Citi Field without much fanfare until the game's latter stages. Sometimes, that’s OK. Just win, baby.
New York mustered just six hits off left-hander Max Fried and righty Chris Martin, but that was enough as the Mets — once again — stood on a foundation of solid pitching and benefitted from very timely hitting.
Brandon Drury — 6-for-6 with two doubles and two home runs since being recalled on July 24 — put the Mets ahead 2-1 in the seventh with a solo shot off Fried and that would stand up.
Megill is on some run. The 6’7” 26-year-old right-hander had his scoreless streak up to 18 innings before Austin Riley’s solo homer in the sixth tied the game at one and ended Megill’s evening.
Since making his MLB debut on June 23 versus Atlanta, the former eighth-round pick (2018) has shown exponential growth and exhibited a stone-like demeanor on the mound.
Oh, and he’s got the fourth-lowest earned run average in baseball among starters over that span.
Over his first seven starts (35.1 IP), Megill’s compiled a 2.04 ERA (3.44 FIP), with 39 strikeouts, 11 walks, and 1.10 WHIP, and his 93 percent left-on-base rate leads the majors over that span. Wow.
Megill was asked about his penchant for escaping jams after Wednesday’s win.
“It’s just calming yourself and just, you know, having the confidence,” he said. “Yeah, I get in a sticky situation, but you just go out there, one pitch at a time. Can’t worry about it.”
“For me,” Megill said. “It’s a pitch at a time, execute those pitches when you throw them, and let the defense work.”
Executing pitches has not been an issue for Megill thus far. His four-seam is racking up 18.1 percent called strikes, his slider has a .219 batting average against and a 38.2% whiff rate, and his changeup has become an absolute weapon.
Freddie Freeman swung through a first-pitch change in the first (before singling) and Megill had his offspeed artillery working all evening. So much so, in fact, even America’s pitching coach Rob Friedman aka @PitchingNinja took notice.
Big things ahead for this young man.
Michael Conforto’s had a tough go since appearing to break out earlier in the month. Free agency looming for the 28-year-old or not, there’s a bigger task at hand. Luckily, Scooter’s still finding ways to make his mark.
He did just that saving Wednesday’s win with a cannon throw from right field to gun down Abraham Almonte trying to tie the game in the ninth, which should remind all of us of the duality of being a baseball player.
Even when things are at their worst, there’s always a way to contribute.
A 5-for-46 stretch at the plate for Conforto upon returning from the injured list on June 23 was followed by an extremely encouraging 8-for-21 run from July 11 through July 19 (four homers, two doubles). Since then, he’s gone 4-for-28.
“It’s been frustrating at the plate. I think I’ve left a lot of hits out there, I’m giving away some at-bats,” Conforto said. “It’s just another day to show up and do something to help the team win. Get on base, make a play in the outfield.”
“When things aren’t going great at the plate,” he said. “I try to make sure I can compartmentalize and separate defense, baserunning, and all that stuff to make sure that I’m still having an impact.”
While Conforto certainly hasn’t been performing like the player we saw last season (.322/.412/.515, 157 wRC+ in 233 PA), he is still that player. Scooter’s just scuffling a bit.
Make the necessary adjustment, rediscover the consistency that’s been lacking, and get back on the grind. They’re all important games from here on out and Conforto’s bat is a key ingredient to winning ballgames. Onward.
The Mets are four up on Philadelphia and five up on Atlanta in the NL East. Let the good times roll.
Series finale, Thursday at 12:10 PM. Daytime baseball! Keep it locked. LFGM.
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